- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
The Astros traded away Lucas Harrell on Monday, but he won’t be the last pitcher traded this season, of course. The market is a long way from fully developing, from being fully defined by failures and successes.
A long-time executive said last week that he hasn’t received a single trade call yet because a lot of teams won’t know for many days whether they will be buyers or sellers.
But an early forecast of what may develop based on the first results of this season would probably include some of these names:
Tampa Bay decided to keep David Price for the outset of the 2014 season because the Rays didn’t find an acceptable offer for the left-hander over the winter, and because they had reason to believe they could win the AL East. But the Rays' context changed significantly when Matt Moore blew out his elbow and Alex Cobb went on the disabled list. Tampa Bay will be relevant in the playoff races only if its rotation is effective, and as of this morning, the Rays rank 25th in overall rotation ERA, and 24th in innings pitched.
The Rays may well hang on to Price throughout the entire season, in keeping with their history of contending; Tampa Bay has its problems, for sure, but there does not appear to be a powerhouse team in the division, either.
But rival officials continue to believe that Price will be traded some day, given his spiraling salary, and the Rays figure to do their due diligence, at the very least, and answer the phone if interested teams call.